RALEIGH — From bills that affect students and women to the reopening of sports stadiums, hundreds of bills are making their way through the state legislature.
Here are a few of the bills currently being considered in the North Carolina Legislature.
House Bill 333: UNC/Disciplinary Measures/Damage Campus Property
House Bill 333 — or an act to require mandatory discipline policies for property damage during protests or demonstrations on University of North Carolina campuses and to require additional information reported on safety concerns — would punish students who are charged with a crime while at a protest or demonstration while on campus.
The bill would make it so the UNC Board of Governors would adopt a policy that would include mandatory disciplinary sanctions against students who were found to have damaged, injured or destroyed property or be found guilty of disorderly conduct in a public building during a protest or demonstration.
The sanctions would include expulsion or suspension for at least one academic period and revocation of state-funded student financial assistance for that academic period. It would also make it so eligibility for a student to return is contingent upon an amount of restitution agreed upon between the institution and the student for the property damage committed by the student.
The bill would also make it so state-supported scholarships would be forfeited if a student is “convicted, enter a plea of guilty or nolo contendere upon an indictment or charge for engaging in a riot, inciting a riot, unlawful demonstration or assembly, seizing or occupying a building or facility, sitting down in buildings they have seized, or lying down in entrances to buildings or any facilities, or on the campus of any college, university or community college.”
The full bill — which was filed on March 17 — can be found at www.ncleg.gov/BillLookUp/2021/H333.
House Bill 626: Forensic Medical Examination Costs/Revisions.
House Bill 626 would revise the law that governs the assistance program for victims of rape and sex offenses to clarify the definition of “forensic medical examination” and require the secretary of public safety to asses a civil penalty on a medical facility who bills a victim for the costs of a forensic medical examination.
A medical facility or professional who bills a victim, a victim’s personal insurance, Medicaid, Medicare or any other collateral source for the examination and other eligible expenses, would be fined $25,000 for each violation.
A forensic medical examination is an exam provided to a sexual assault victim by medical personnel trained to gather evidence of a sexual assault in a manner suitable for use in a court of law, according to the bill. It includes at a minimum examining of physical trauma, a patient interview, a determination of penetration or force, and a collection and evaluation of evidence.
If the bill became law, it would go into effect on Oct. 1. The full bill can be found at www.ncleg.gov/BillLookUp/2021/H626
House Bill 453: Human Life Non-Discrimination Act/No Eugenics
House Bill 453 — an act to protect against the discrimination of life — would make it so no person shall perform or attempt to perform an abortion upon a woman in North Carolina unless the physician has confirmed that the woman is not seeking an abortion because of the actual or presumed race or racial makeup of the unborn child, the sex of the unborn child or the presence or presumed presence of Down syndrome.
The ACLU of North Carolina said in a statement that this bill would compromise the doctor-patient relationship by making the doctor question their patient regarding the reasons behind their decision and deny care depending on their answers.
“These abortion restrictions would threaten an individual’s right to make their own reproductive decisions,” said Liz Barber, policy analyst for the ACLU of North Carolina, in a statement. “This bill is not about fighting discrimination. It’s yet another effort to chip away at abortion access, and lawmakers should reject it.”
The bill would also require a physician to report whether the race, sex or presence of Down syndrome in the child had been detected prior to the abortion. It would also require a statement from the physician stating that the woman seeking the abortion did not tell the physician and that the physician has reason to believe the woman was not seeking the abortion because of the unborn child’s actual or presumed race or sex or the actual or presumed presence of Down syndrome.
The full bill — which would go into effect on Sept. 1 if it became law — can be found at www.ncleg.gov/BillLookUp/2021/H453.
Senate Bill 115: Kickoff College Sports Act
The Kickoff College Sports Act would allow University of North Carolina schools or private postsecondary schools to open stadiums at 100 percent capacity.
The bill would be effective immediately after passing and would give the governor authorization to close the stadium for four reasons. First, the governor may close an individual stadium when necessary to protect the health and safety of athletes, staff and attendees, according to the bill.
Secondly, the governor would have to provide reasons specific to that individual stadium for requiring closure, restriction, or reduction in the operation of the individual stadium. Third, the governor may only restrict an individual stadium and could not order a statewide closure, restriction or reduction of the operation of stadiums.
Finally, the governor shall not use the authority granted in Article 1A of Chapter 166A of the General Statutes, or any other provision of law other than the authority granted by this section, to direct the statewide closure, restriction, or reduction of the operation of a stadium identified in Section 1 of this act.
This act only applies to 13 counties including Watauga County. It has passed the North Carolina House and was referred to the committee on Rules and Operations of the Senate on May 3.
The full bill can be found at www.ncleg.gov/BillLookUp/2021/S115.